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The Dirty Dozen & The Clean Fifteen: the Sequel to the original KidNutriYum post

The original guidelines summarized in October of 2014 were based on data from 2000-2008. The USDA doesn’t test every food each year, but the latest data stems from testing done since 2009.

The revised dirty dozen are as follows:

1 Strawberries 7 Cherries

2 Apples 8 Tomatoes

3 Nectarines 9 Cherry Tomatoes

4 Peaches 10 Bell Peppers

5 Celery 11 Cucumber

6 Grapes 12 Spinach

Over the past four years, the EWG has developed a Dirty Dozen Plus Category regarding 3 types of produce that contain trace levels of “highly hazardous pesticides”.

1 – Kale

2 – Collard Greens

3 – Hot Peppers

Furthermore, the revised Clean Fifteen are as follows:

1 – Avocado 6 Onions 11 Eggplant

2 – Sweet Corn 7 Asparagus 12 Honeydew

3 – Pineapple 8 – Mango 13 Grapefruit

4 – Cabbage 9 – Papaya 14 Cantaloupe

5 – Frozen Snap Peas 10 Kiwi 15 Cauliflower

It is especially important to take note of the impact of pesticides on young children. In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a report that cited that children have “unique susceptibilities to pesticides” and cites evidence that links pesticide exposure to chronic health complications in children including neuro-developmental or behavioral problems, birth defects, asthma, and cancer. Children are especially vulnerable because of their stage of development, differences in metabolism, their size, as well as a number of other factors. Furthermore, children’s Immune and nervous systems are still developing well into adolescence.

Guidelines to further reduce pesticide levels in produce are as follows:

  • Cooking reduces pesticide levels

  • Throw away outer leaves

  • Scrub rinds and peel produce

  • Rinse all produce

  • Buy organic for the foods most consumed in your home

Continue to consume a varied diet rich in fruit and vegetables to benefit from the wide array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber contained in these foods!

Consumer reports has a more in depth review of how to select produce – including an assessment based on the country of origin. To read more extensively about this topic, please read the following link:

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